After my post about removable wallpaper for backsplashes, I received a few emails asking that I post more about temporary options like this for renters. In my last apartment, I made a backsplash out of 1/4″ plywood secured with Velcro (it was easy to remove when we moved, and left no residue or damage whatsoever), but I started wondering whether there are temporary tile options, too—so I did some research. And by “research,” I mean I Googled it.
I guess they’ve been around for a while now, but Smart Tiles are new to me. Smart Tiles are peel & stick embossed sheets of something called “translucent gel Gel-O™” (which I’m assuming is some sort of synthetic material), faux-mosaics that look a whole lot like real tiles—right down to the fake grout lines. They’re heat and humidity resistant, they can be installed on top of any relatively smooth surface (including existing tile), and they can be removed fairly easily—whether or not they leave residual damage would, of course, depend on the substrate.
Real talk: Most of the stuff on the Smart Tiles website isn’t aesthetically appealing to me, but there are a few designs that I could absolutely see using in a setting where putting up real tile isn’t an option. Subway White, Bellagio Marmo, and Hexago all look great in pictures, and I’m really curious about what they’re like in person.
The manufacturer of Smart Tiles is based in Québec, and most of the real-life examples of their use are on French-language blogs. They are available in the US, though! They can be ordered directly from their website and through Wayfair (significantly cheaper—most styles are discounted 33-55%), or off the shelf at Home Depot.
Nice examples, yeah? I’m kind of shocked by how good they look, especially the Hexago style. I’m not usually into fake stuff that looks like other stuff, but for the convenience, price, and (potentially) temporary nature of the product? I could be convinced.